I’ve been hibernating over the past two weeks stuck in a rut of exhaustion and anxiety. The first month on the road was really hard. We had no idea what we were doing and made a lot of (expensive) mistakes. There were so many “should we just throw in the towel?” moments. We’ve taken refuge at my parents and what was supposed to be a week long stay to regroup has turned into a month long stay. Between getting work done to the truck and trailer, Evelyn’s first birthday and getting her 12 month pediatrician appointment (there’s a 4 to 6 week waiting period for them to get all the records from CA) it turned out we were going to need to be hunkered down for a month. I have an insanely massive list of things to get done but every day it just feels like I’m wadding through mud and every step is so hard.
When we began planning our exit strategy in California I was so excited for this new adventure. It felt like I’d have all this freedom to finally spend more time and focus on personal passions that always seemed to get pushed aside. What I didn’t realize is I was giving up one lifestyle for another and while there are pros, there are also lot of cons.
The first thing I realized was I can’t ever leave for “me” time when we are on the road. In LA, I was busy, but I could sneak out a few times a week to grab froyo with a friend, or a quick shopping trip, a playdate. On the road, we have one vehicle and it’s a HUGE truck. I actually haven’t even attempted to drive it yet and it’s not really the type of vehicle you take for a quick stop into a store. Anywhere you go you have to make sure there’s a large enough parking lot to accommodate you. So when we are on the road- Tim does all the errands while I stay in the trailer with Evelyn. I’ve never yearned to go on a solo trip to the grocery store (even if it is a 30 minute drive at 10:30pm) in my life. There’s no girlfriends on the road, most of the time we don’t have cell service to even catch up on FaceTime. It can feel isolating and frustrating.
Also, in the trailer, there obviously is no privacy. And we purchased a trailer with a large back bedroom/playroom for Evelyn but all she wants to do is cling to my leg 24/7. There’s no “escaping to my room” for a break.
Then there’s the packing up of your home and moving every.single.week. It’s not easy. And because we have slides (it’s like room extenders that we slide out to make our living space wider once we’ve parked) that need to be closed for us to move I have to pack up every room – our bedroom, the living room, kitchen, Evelyn’s bedroom, before every trip and then un-pack when we arrive in the evening. Check out is usually at 11am so it’s this insanely stressful crunch from 7am-11am of us scrambling to board up our home, hitch the trailer to the truck (which is a process) and then be able to pull out of our space without hitting anything. After a long day of travel, we arrive at our new site between 5-7pm, which is Evelyn’s witching hour. So you’re trying to back in a trailer without hitting a tree (which we may or may not have done), Tim’s in the truck with Evelyn’s screaming, and I’m behind the trailer trying to guide him in while we yell at each other over walkie talkies whether “straight back” means for the truck or trailer (I’m still not sure the difference… but apparently there is one…) and that “turn your wheels right” apparently has a lot of room for interpretation. Once we are parked, it’s a mad dash for me to unpack and re set up Evelyn’s room to get her down for bed. And then I spend from 8-11:30pm cleaning the trailer and unpacking.
All this to say, I got caught up in “the grass is greener” philosophy of – of course everything will be better once X (…after the move… after I’m no longer working… after Tim & I are both parenting full time…). Instead, we jumped into the deep end and I’m treading water. I’m not sinking, but it’s a whole lotta work to keep my head above water. I also thought, being a working mom is so hard, but once I’m a full time stay at home mom it’ll be so much easier with Evelyn. But I’m finding that again, there’s pros and cons to both sides. When I was working, I had the hour commute each way which I hated. But that was also two hours I had a day to catch up with family back east over the phone, listen to an audio book or podcast. Two hours of quiet me time. Also, I optimized my time and used my lunch break to handle personal things – writing a blog post, making a Pinterest asset, paying bills- whatever. It was an hour of my office door closed being able to solely focused on my personal to-do list. But being full time mom, there is no time to shut the door for an hour. Sure, there’s the evenings, but by then I’m so mentally and physically exhausted anything productive just seems too challenging. It’s taken me three full days to find Evelyn a new pediatrician and book an appointment because I’d start the research and then Tim would ask where something of Evelyn’s was, then it was her lunch time, then she needed me to hold her, then Tim had to poop and couldn’t watch her anymore – you get it. I’m missing that time of being able to count on at least an hour away during normal awake hours to try to get something done.
I always made a commitment to myself that my self care was always more important than consistency on social media. So while I feel this pressure to be posting every day and staying consistent with the blog uploads my heart just hasn’t been in it. And I never want to feel like I’m putting content up that my heart isn’t in and that doesn’t feel authentic. So I just wanted to let you guys know what’s going on with me, why there may be quiet bouts as we navigate our new life.
We jumped in head first – buying the truck and trailer, a ton of film equipment, launching a youtube channel, wanting to film a documentary, launching an instagram account, keeping up with my blog and taking consulting work. And my head is just spinning. We’re a month in and already both of us feel completely burnt out. We both want to be able to look back at this experience in a year and have it be with fond memories. So right now, we’re just trying to take things slower, be a little kinder to one another, find an empty parking lot to practice maneuvering with the truck and trailer and get back on the horse and try again.
Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement!